Friday, October 24, 2014

W.A.G.E. Rage — an Update

I'm happy to write this follow up to a blog post I wrote in 2009, called W.A.G.E. Rage. It's been one of my most popular posts. I wrote about how W.A.G.E., Working Artists for a Greater Economy, is trying to create a model for artists to earn money from their work in a lot of different ways. Here's some good news I received in a recent email from W.A.G.E.:

"W.A.G.E. just launched W.A.G.E. Certification, a paradigm-shifting model for the remuneration of artistic labor.
Initiated and operated by W.A.G.E., Certification is a program that publicly recognizes non-profit arts organizations that demonstrate a history of, and commitment to, voluntarily paying artist fees—it is also the first of its kind in the U.S. that establishes a sector-wide minimum standard for compensation, as well as a clear set of guidelines and standards for the conditions under which artistic labor is contracted.

W.A.G.E. worked in dialog with artists, arts organizations, writers, sociologists, labor historians, and critical theorists over the past four years to produce a scalable model that can be applied across the non-profit arts economy in all its variation: from small artist-runspaces struggling to support a single employee to large institutions with hundreds of full-time workers and top salaries in the seven figures.

We are also proud to announce that, working with W.A.G.E. over the past year as part of a two-year Research Partnership, Artists Space has met the policy’s requirements and paid fees meeting a minimum standard specified by the program’s fee calculator—making it the first organization to be W.A.G.E. Certified.

If you know our work, then you know that these are major achievements in the history of W.A.G.E. What you may not know is that for the past six years we have operated on speaking, writing and workshop fees. It's a miracle we've lasted this long.

W.A.G.E. can only keep fighting for equitable compensation if we ourselves are compensated.

We are asking you, as our constituency and our community, to join W.A.G.E. by directly supporting us: help us raise $75,000 by making a tax-deductible donation to Wages 4 W.A.G.E. Funds will be applied directly to minimal overhead costs, which include paying our dedicated organizers a living wage. We cannot W.A.G.E. RAGE without you!

W.A.G.E. Certification's guidelines and fee calculator are at

To support Wages 4 W.A.G.E. please go to"

I am excited to say, "For the times they are a changin'"

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